Sheryl Culotta: GLSP Director Pleased with Summer Session

Olivia DrakeJune 22, 20116min
Sheryl Culotta oversees the Wesleyan Summer Session, which is ongoing through July 1. (Photo by Olivia Drake)

Q: Sheryl, you’re currently the director of Continuing Studies and Graduate Liberal Studies. Your office also oversees the Wesleyan Summer Session. What is your role with the program, and how are you able to wear three hats!?

A: The programs we run all have a lot of logistical processes in common, so many of our roles are similar for Summer Session and the other programs. We are involved with recruitment of students and faculty, admissions, enrollment, student services, billing and payroll,etc., so it’s not too difficult to work on similar functions for different programs.

Q: This is Wesleyan’s second semester hosting summer classes. Has enrollment increased since last summer?

A: Yes! Summer Session enrollment increased by 44 percent from the first year. We are very pleased with the growth.

Q: How many classes are being offered this semester and in what disciplines? Do the classes meet every day?

A: There are 15 courses, including a two-course thematic institute, and they draw on many disciplines across the curriculum, from English and government, to arts, psychology, chemistry, and mathematics. All Summer Session courses meet five days a week.

Q: What is the advantage to taking a summer course? Can students take more than one at a time?

A: Summer Session offers Wesleyan students the opportunity to catch up or to get ahead. Students who are expecting a busy fall term with other activities can take a summer course now so that they will have a lighter load then. Students take a maximum of two courses.

Q: Who teaches the courses and what is the student-to-faculty ratio?

A: Summer Session course are taught by Wesleyan faculty. The student to faculty ratio is 6.5 to 1.

Q: Where do students live during the summer semester? Do they leave campus after July 1?

A: Summer Session students have the option of living on campus or off. This year the students who chose on campus housing are living in program houses at 202 and 230 Washington Street. Most of the Summer Session students will be leaving campus July 1, but a few have other activities going on here, and will be staying on campus.

Q: When did you come to Wesleyan and when were you promoted to director of Continuing Studies and GLSP?

A: This week is actually my six-year anniversary at Wesleyan! I became the interim director in April 2009, when Karen Anderson became associate provost, and became the official director in January 2010.

Q: What do you like best about working at Wesleyan?

A: I love being a part of such a dynamic learning community. I love hearing GLS students talk about how the program has literally changed their lives by helping them develop their intellectual interests as adults. And I love working with such enthusiastic colleagues who are motivated by Wesleyan’s educational mission.

Q: What is the busiest time of the year for you?

A: While our office is busy year-round, the spring is always the busiest time because we are preparing for commencement, as well as the GLS summer term, the undergraduate Summer Session, and handling the logistics for all of the groups who are planning to come to campus over the summer.

Q: Where are you from and what brought you to Connecticut?

A: I’m originally from California, and had been working with Stanford’s Master of Liberal Arts program before coming to Wesleyan.

Q: What are your plans for this summer? Also, what are your hobbies/interests?

A: My 9-year old son Holden is currently in England with the Trinity Boys Choir, singing in amazing places like Tewkesbury Abbey and Bristol Cathedral. My 7-year old daughter Dulcey and I are heading over later this week to follow the choir around, then the three of us are staying in England for another week. We all love the theater, so my kids and I are very excited to see Macbeth at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon this summer!